Adriano de Souza rides ‘Brazilian Wave’ to win world surfing title
28-year-old claims Pipe Masters in Hawaii and finishes on top of overall standings, with Australian Mick Fanning second
Adriano de Souza kept the men’s surfing world title in Brazilian hands when he was crowned champion at the final event on the pro tour, the Pipe Masters in Hawaii.
Competing at the famed Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu, De Souza clinched the title by reaching the final against compatriot Gabriel Medina, who was Brazil’s first world champion last year.
De Souza went on to beat Medina in the final and become the first Brazilian to win the prestigious Pipe Masters.
The 28-year-old journeyman thanked his dead brother for buying him his first surfboard for US$7 and setting him on the path to the world title.
“It’s so wonderful to be a world champion,” he said after being chaired off the beach by a large crowd of Brazilian fans.
“It’s extra bonus, to be a pipeline champion ... everything I’ve learned in 10 years on tour I put together.”
Medina has led the “Brazilian Wave” after his 2014 world title, inspiring a group of young South American surfers who have started to make their mark on the world tour, eroding the former grip of Australian and American surfers.
Taking second place behind de Souza was enough to make Medina the first Brazilian to win the “Triple Crown”.
This honour is for the surfer with the highest total tally from three contests in Hawaii at Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipeline.
Brazilian and Australian surfers occupied the top seven spots in the standings, with three-times world champion Mick Fanning finishing second.
Fanning, who made headlines earlier this year when he was attacked by a shark during the South African round of the championship, was competing with a heavy heart after the death of his brother in Australia just hours before the event.
“It’s been a huge day,” Fanning said. “I’ve just got some personal stuff going on at home and it’s sort of heavy to talk about right now, but I don’t know, I’m just sort of cruising, and just trying to live.”
Another Australian surfer, Bede Durbidge, wiped out in round three on Wednesday, suffering a fractured pelvis when he slammed into a reef on the notoriously dangerous break.
In the women’s standings, Hawaiian Carissa Moore won her third world title.